Why Is Kona Coffee So Expensive? Find Out Now!

A hand holds a branch of ripening coffee beans

Kona coffee is one of the most sought-after coffees in the world. The unique flavor and high quality of the beans make it a favorite among coffee lovers. But why does Kona coffee have such a higher price tag than other types of coffee?

This article will explore why Kona coffee is so expensive and why it has become such a coveted beverage worldwide.

What Is Kona Coffee? The Hawaiian Coffee Beans

Kona coffee is a special kind grown in the Kailua-Kona district of Hawaii. This region has the optimal weather conditions to nurture coffee beans, with a warm tropical climate with both sun and rain. The volcanic soil in this area is filled with minerals, which is why Kona coffee has such a unique flavor.

The only US state that cultivates coffee is Hawaii, and each island provides its own inclination. Kona coffee has become renowned for its mellow taste, nutty aroma, and heavy body, making it a favorite among coffee aficionados all over the planet.

Kona Coffee Price

Kona coffee is typically sold in 10-ounce bags, with prices ranging from $20 to $40 per bag. The highest grade of Kona coffee available is Kona Extra Fancy, which can cost up to $60. This is considerably pricier than coffee available at the grocery store, typically sold in bulk, with prices per pound ranging from $2 to $6.

Person Holding US Dollar Bills

So Why Is Kona Coffee So Expensive?

Several factors contribute to the high cost of Kona coffee, including land, equipment, and labor. The land that Kona coffee grows on is extremely limited; only a small 30-mile strip of volcanic soil makes up 1% of coffee worldwide. This means that the retail supply of Kona coffee is also limited.  

Since the farms are so small and the terrain so rocky, they can’t be harvested with machines; that means intensive manual labor. Farmers in Hawaii who cultivate Kona coffee receive the minimum wage for their labor, which is higher than the unfair wages given to growers in other countries. 

Close-up of hands holding fresh coffee beans

Moreover, selecting these beans by hand leads to the superior flavor of Kona coffee. When a mechanical harvesting process is used, the trees are shaken, resulting in beans of varying sizes and ripeness levels, some of which may be unripe and lead to a bitter taste. Kona coffee farmers take extra care to make sure they are consistently picking the biggest and ripest beans, which produces a truly great cup of coffee.

Is Kona Coffee Worth it?

Hawaiian Kona coffee is well worth the price for those who are devoted to coffee. Its cost reflects the reality of the supply and demand for the product, as well as the standards of FairTrade. By charging so much, coffee roasters can pay their growers a reasonable amount, leading to improved coffee quality. This benefits coffee lovers, as it translates to a tastier cup of joe.

Now that you know all about Kona coffee,  it’s time to taste it yourself.


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